Game Prediction: LSU vs. Iowa

Buckle your seatbelt and tune in for what should be an incredibly exciting Monday night of college basketball. In a rematch from last year’s NCAA Tournament Final, No. 3 LSU will square off versus No. 1 Iowa. The winner of the game will make the Final Four — and ultimately could be the favorite moving forward.

In last year’s installment, LSU’s depth and athletic ability blitzed the Hawkeyes. Caitlin Clark did score 30 points on 8-of-19 from three-point range. However, Iowa had no answer for stopping LSU on the defensive end of the floor. Kim Mulkey’s team got any shot it wanted, and it led to an offensive onslaught. In this year’s game, Iowa is the higher seed — though the Tigers have to like their chances in this contest. Everything revolves around Clark. LSU won’t be able to stop her outright.

However, it can try and throw multiple different looks at the future No. 1 Overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. Though the Tigers played zone sparingly during the regular season, LSU brought it out at times during its hard-fought win over UCLA in the Sweet 16. LSU would be wise to throw the kitchen sink at Clark. Mix up coverages, send hard doubles in pick-and-roll situations, force the ball out of her hands, and let others beat them.

On the other side of the coin, Iowa — though the more experienced team — must figure out how to slow this potent offense. Flau’jae Johnson was sensational against the Bruins. Whether off the bounce or in the mid-range, she was the best player on the floor over the weekend. Aneesah Morrow also was fantastic in converting mid-range jumpers into buckets. Mikaylah Williams proved why she was one of the best incoming freshmen in the country via her play over the weekend. A smooth and steady player, she also scored in the painted area with ease. LSU certainly has an advantage athletically, and you can make a case they’re the deeper team, too.

Clark is a transcendent player — there’s no doubt about that. However, if she doesn’t get enough help from her teammates, you can run into some inefficiency with her trying to do too much. This should be a highly competitive game. Iowa is poised and seasoned, whereas LSU is hungry and talented.

The major X-Factor in this game will be Angel Reese. The Tigers need to feed her early and often. If she can stay out of foul trouble, LSU should win this one.

Prediction: LSU wins 77-74

The game is slated to tip off at 7:19 p.m. ET. It can be seen on ESPN, ESPN+, and Fubo.